Name: Gregory Rousseau
Position: Edge rusher
Hands: 11 inches
Wing span: 83 inches
40-yard dash: 4.7 seconds
Vertical leap: 30 inches
Broad: 9 feet 7 inches
How he fits: Rousseau is arguably one of the top pass rushers in this class and a player with a ton of athleticism and upside. He can line up all over the defensive front and be a versatile player at the NFL level.
The Lions re-signed their leading pass rusher from last year, Romeo Okwara, and also have Trey Flowers returning. But like cornerbacks, a team can never have too many good pass rushers.
Rousseau opted out of the 2020 season, but was second to only Chase Young in 2019 racking up 15.5 sacks for the Hurricanes and earning ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year starting seven of 13 games played that season.
Rousseau is still a little raw, but his physical gifts and NFL build are a great starting point for NFL coaching. Detroit has a couple young edge rushers they like in Julian Okwara and Austin Bryant, but adding a player like Rousseau would give them a nice mix of pass rushers to throw at opposing quarterbacks this fall.
Key observations: Rousseau led the ACC in sacks (15.5) and tackles for loss (19.5) in 2019, ranking second and ninth in the FBS, respectively. His sack total tied for the second-highest single-season mark in program history.
The question mark is there's not a lot of tape on Rousseau since he only played in 15 games total in college. Rousseau comes in at No. 13 on NFL media analyst Daniel Jeremiah's list of the Top 50 players in this class.
What they had to say about him: "Long-limbed, even-front end with a projectable frame but a concerning lack of functional edge experience. Much of his sack production came via athletic mismatches against interior blockers when reduced inside. He lacks prototypical get-off and needs more violence and pop in his hands, but his length, pursuit agility and wide-open throttle really stand out on tape. He doesn't come off as unwilling at the point of attack. Expect noticeable improvement as a run defender once he adds play strength and learns to bend and anchor more effectively.
"The checked boxes are a bit uneven, but that appears to be more a reflection of a lack of film rather than projectable talent. He carries a bit of a boom/bust profile, but also has the makings of a player who can become a quality 4-3 end within his first three seasons." – NFL analyst Lance Zierlein
What he had to say: "I don't have a lot film, but I feel like I showed a lot in the time that I did play, my redshirt freshman year (in 2019). I feel like I proved a lot. I also feel like I'm a very versatile athlete and I fit into a lot of schemes and I'm just going to be somebody who's hard working from Day 1. I'm ready to get to the next level."